Legislative Update 11-22-19

Initial policy ideas shared by Jail Task Force

The Joint Task Force on Jail and Pretrial Incarceration held their fifth meeting which included public discussion about proposed changes to state laws and policies regarding county jail incarceration. Outside of public meetings, task force members have been working diligently in subcommittees dedicated to analyze data collected from 20 sample counties around the state. After reviewing the data and trends, the subcommittees deliberated policy proposals and brought those forward to colleagues and the public for further input.

Some of the potential recommendations include:

-reclassification of low-level offenses such as driving without a license. Under a policy change, a person would receive a ticket rather than being charged with a misdemeanor. According to PEW data, 64% of people stayed 1 day or less in jail for driving without a valid license.

-increase funding for diversion programs, including more resources for mental health and additional services. Additionally, the group discussed the need for better data-sharing between law enforcement and mental health offices and more training for mental health crisis response.

-Mandatory 48 hour appearance in front of a judge or magistrate after arrest. The group discussed various timeframes that may be appropriate, taking in to consideration some concerns from domestic violence victim advocates.  

The task force subgroups will continue to meet over December before voting on final policy recommendations on Jan. 9 in Lansing. After a final report is agreed upon, the task force will present it to the Legislature for further deliberation.

More information can be found here. For questions, contact Meghann Keit at keit@micounties.org. 

MAC attends sustainability conference focused on local government

Earlier this week, MAC staff attended the 2019 Sustainability Conference, hosted by the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) and MI Greening Communities; an organization that highlights and works with municipalities and counties to promote sustainable action and initiatives.

The sold-out conference held in Lansing at the Lansing Center, was an opportunity for stakeholders from local government and the private sector to network and learn about good work being done that creates a more efficient and sustainable Michigan. Presentations included topics like: planning for sustainability in big and small communities alike, a presentation on the current recycling market, a breakout on energy and sustainability from EGLE, how to build a triple bottom-line business, climate and health impacts, and many more. You can look at the various presentations that were given here. Presentations will be available within a few weeks: if you see one you’d like to obtain, flag Michael Ruddock and he’ll make sure to get it to you when it has become available. 

MAC also wants to extend a congratulations to Monroe county, who was awarded the Bronze award from MI Greening Communities for administering the Monroe County Environmental Fund Grant and accomplishing 6 of the 12 action-items!

For more information please contact Michael Ruddock at ruddock@micounties.org

MAC offices closed for Thanksgiving holiday

MAC’s Lansing offices will be closed on Thursday, Nov. 28 and Friday, Nov. 29 to observe the Thanksgiving holiday.

Normal office hours will resume on Monday, Dec. 2 at 8 a.m. MAC staffers wish you and your families a warm and pleasant Thanksgiving.